Top 8 Fishing Spots in the Sandia Mountains

Fishing in the Sandia Mountains offers a unique and enriching experience for both seasoned anglers and beginners. Nestled near Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Sandia Mountains provide an array of fishing spots surrounded by breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife.

I will give you the top 8 Sandia lakes fishing, drawing from user experiences and local recommendations to offer a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to enjoy a day by the water. Whether you’re in search of a quiet pond or a challenging stream, the Sandia Mountains have something to offer.

8. Liam Knight Pond in Corrales

Liam Knight Pond in Corrales - best fishing spots

When we have Sandia Lakes fishing in mind, Liam Knight Pond is good for it. It has a variety of fish species, including bass, bluegill, and catfish. The pond is regularly stocked to maintain a healthy fish population.

Access is easy with clear paths and basic amenities available. A valid license is required, and it’s important to follow local catch limits and rules. The best times to fish are early morning and late afternoon, with spring and fall being the ideal seasons.

Local anglers recommend using live bait or lures that mimic the natural prey of the fish. Liam Knight Pond offers a peaceful and productive experience. Believe me, here your hook will be beaten many times.

7. Valles Caldera

Valles Caldera offers excellent opportunities for catching fish. It is home to various trout species, including rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout. The streams and lakes are well-stocked, ensuring a plentiful fish population.

Access to the right spots is straightforward, with several trails and designated fishing areas available. Anglers must have a valid license and adhere to specific regulations, such as catch limits and seasonal restrictions.

The best times for catching are early morning and late afternoon, with the summer months providing optimal conditions. Using flies and artificial lures that mimic the natural food sources of the trout can increase your chances of a successful catch. Overall, Valles Caldera provides a scenic and fruitful fishing experience.

Fish Species Average Weight (lbs) Best Time to Fish Recommended Bait/Lures More Info
Bass 1-5 Early morning, late afternoon Live bait, crankbaits, plastic worms Common in ponds and lakes; active in warmer months
Bluegill 0.5-2 Spring, summer, all-day Live worms, small jigs, insects Found in shallow waters; good for beginner anglers
Catfish 1-20 Night, early morning Chicken liver, stink bait, cut bait Bottom feeders; best fished from the shore or boat
Rainbow Trout 1-5 Spring, fall, early morning Spinners, flies, power bait Prefers cool, clear water; popular in streams and lakes
Brown Trout 1-10 Spring, fall, early morning Artificial flies, streamers, live bait Common in rivers and streams; prefers deeper waters
Cutthroat Trout 1-6 Spring, fall, early morning Flies, small spinners, live bait Native to the western U.S.; thrives in mountain streams
Musky 5-20 Early morning, late afternoon Large lures, live baitfish Predatory fish; requires patience and heavy tackle

6. Pecos River

The Pecos River is an excellent location for fishing. It is known for its abundant trout population, particularly brown and rainbow trout. The river is regularly stocked to secure a thriving fish population. Access is convenient, with numerous entry points and well-maintained trails leading to prime fishing spots. Anglers need a valid license and must follow local regulations, including catch limits and seasonal restrictions.

I suggest going there in the early morning and late afternoon, with spring and summer being the most favorable seasons. Pecos National Historic Park in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the top destination in the area to go fly fishing in the Pecos River.

 Effective fishing techniques include using flies and artificial lures that resemble the natural prey of the trout. The Pecos River offers a rewarding fishing experience in a picturesque setting. 

2024 Fishing Season Dates

  • Summer 2024: June 6 to July 29. Fall 2024: September 5 to November 11. Remember: Fishing takes place from Thursday through Monday and must be reserved on the Pecos page of recreation.gov.

Is the Pecos River salty

  • Like the Rio Grande, this river flows mostly southward across New Mexico, and is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as boating, rafting, hiking and fishing.

5. Fenton Lake

Fenton Lake Sandia Mountains - one of prettiest places i've been fishing

Located in the Jemez Mountains, Fenton Lake is approximately 1.5 hours from Albuquerque and is famous for its trout fishing. This lake is an excellent option for a quick getaway from the city, offering beautiful surroundings and a serene fishing environment. The drive to Fenton Lake is scenic, making the journey part of the overall experience. It’s a great spot for those looking to catch trout in a tranquil setting.

Fenton Lake is full of rainbow and brown trout, thanks to regular stocking. This means you have a good chance of catching something. Getting there is easy with clear roads and signs, and the lake has picnic areas and restrooms, making it a nice spot for a day trip.

Just remember, you’ll need a fishing license and should follow the local rules about how many fish you can catch. Spring and fall are the best seasons because of the good weather. People who fish here often suggest using bait or lures that look like insects and small fish since that’s what the trout usually eat.

4. Las Huertas

Las Huertas is a real hidden gem for trout fishing! It’s tucked away behind Placitas along Highway 165. But getting there is half the fun – you gotta take this dirt road that adds a sense of adventure to the whole trip. Once you arrive, Las Huertas is regularly stocked with trout. So you’ve got a great chance of reeling in some catches! And the scenic beauty surrounding the spot? Unreal.

Casting your line with those peaceful views is an experience like no other. Here’s the deal – Las Huertas is a fantastic fishing spot, especially if you’re looking to catch some trout. The journey itself is an adventure with that dirt road leading you to this hidden treasure. And they keep the lake well-stocked, so your odds of landing a fish are HIGH.

3. Bluewater Lake

Have you heard about Bluewater Lake? Fantastic of fantastic place from all Sandia lakes. It’s this spot about an hour and a half west of Albuquerque that’s famous for its musky fishing. That’s pretty cool, right? Muskies aren’t super common in a lot of the other lakes around here, so this place gives you a chance to go after something a little different and really put your skills to the test.

The lake is kind of out in the middle of nowhere, which makes it nice and peaceful for a day of fishing. Getting to Bluewater Lake is a pretty easy drive, the roads are good. It’s about a 90-minute trip from Albuquerque, so it’s definitely doable for a day trip. Just make sure you have your license and know the local rules about stuff like catch limits before you go.

The best times to fish are early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and spring and fall tend to be the sweet spots because the weather is so nice. The locals say using the right bait or lures for muskies is key since they can be pretty tough to hook.

Overall, Bluewater Lake is a really unique and exciting place to go fishing, whether you’re new to it or you’ve been doing it for years. If you’re looking to try something a little different, I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

2. San Gregorio Reservoir

San Gregorio Reservoir - Sandia Peak Mountains

For those willing to hike, San Gregorio Reservoir in the Jemez Mountains offers a serene and secluded fishing spot. The hike to the reservoir is rewarded with stunning views and a peaceful environment, making it a popular choice among anglers who enjoy combining fishing with a bit of outdoor adventure.

The reservoir is known for its clean waters and the variety of fish available, providing a rewarding fishing experience.

  • What to catch: Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout and Rainbow Trout.
  • Pertinent Information: Reservoir is used as water storage for irrigation, so water levels vary.

I suggest going there in summer and fall.

1. Manzano Lake

Manzano Lake is a fantastic spot for trout fishing, located in the East Mountains. It’s just south of the town of Manzano and about 13 miles northwest of Mountainair. The area around the lake is beautiful and perfect for a day of outdoor fun. You can fish in the well-stocked lake or explore the nearby Manzano Mountains State Park. The park is open from April to October and has 45 campsites, with eight that have electricity.

There are also restrooms and an RV dump station, making it great for camping. The drive to Manzano Lake is very scenic, and you can also visit the Salinas ruins nearby to learn about local history.

This spot is perfect for fishing, hiking, bird watching, or having a picnic. Manzano Lake offers a mix of activities, making it a great place for a weekend adventure or a relaxing day in nature. More information about amazing sandia lakes fishing locations can be found here.

Conclusion

The Sandia Mountains and the areas around them have lots of cool fishing spots for everyone. Whether you like easy-to-reach places like Liam Knight Pond or want to hike to somewhere like San Gregorio Reservoir, there’s a spot for you.

Sandia Lakes has something special. For example, Valles Caldera has quiet streams, and Bluewater Lake is great for catching musky. These spots are close to Albuquerque, so they’re perfect for a quick trip or a longer adventure.

Sandia Peak is full of beautiful calming sceneries that can help you clear your head weather you’re fishing or just chilling. For a better view, you can visit Sandia Peaks tramway to see New Mexico’s nature from a distinctive viewpoint.

Whether you’re really into fishing or just starting, the Sandia Mountains are a great place to fish. So, get your fishing gear, make sure you have your New Mexico fishing license, and go check out the best fishing spots in the Sandia Mountains. Enjoy the beautiful views, the excitement of catching fish, and the fun of being outdoors.